Rail cable thief paid just £50 is landed with community payback

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A MAN who stole cable from the railway near Doncaster, earning just £50 for his trouble, has been sentenced following an investigation by British Transport Police.

Robert David Sword, aged 24, of Lime Tree Grove, Thorne, was sentenced to a one-year community order and 180 hours’ unpaid work by Doncaster magistrates after admitting stealing 400 metres of copper cable from the Bootham Lane area of Stainforth earlier this month.

Officers traced Sword from the stolen cable that was discovered at a local scrap metal dealers close to the crime scene. He had weighed it in for just £50, and was arrested six days later.

Det Con Ian Grice said: “Sword put a lot of effort into stealing this cable and weighing it in for a very small amount of money, and he now has a criminal record for his efforts.

“We are utilising a whole range of tactics to tackle metal and cable theft across the region. We will continue to carry out high-profile patrols at known areas of cable theft activity across the area, as well as scrapyards which are a key role in tracking taken cable.”

Det Con Grice said it was an incorrect assumption that cable theft is a victimless crime, with the only effects being felt by the railway industry.

“Theft of crime cable can, and does, cause significant delays and cancellations to the rail industry – as well as costing the industry millions of pounds each year.

“Stealing railway cable is also incredibly dangerous. Not only does it present severe dangers to those who trespass on the line, who are putting their lives at risk, it also causes real headaches for passengers in terms of delays or disruptions to services.”

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